A Sallisaw man faces charges after he allegedly set fire to an apartment building in the city, court records show.
James Gary Moore, 35, was charged Oct. 20 with one felony count of first-degree arson and 10 counts of endangering human life during arson, also felonies. Moore faces a $25,000 fine and/or 35 years in prison on the arson charge, and each endangerment charge is punishable by imprisonment from 3 to 10 years, by a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
At 3:22 a.m. on Oct. 11, a Sallisaw Police Department detective was dispatched to a structure fire at 203 N. Hickory in Sallisaw. A police lieutenant already on the scene told the detective the fire was suspicious in nature and that he and another officer had earlier responded to two calls regarding a domestic disturbance between Moore and his girlfriend.
When the detective arrived at the scene, the Sallisaw Fire Department was already there battling the blaze. The tenants in the five surrounding apartments were evacuated.
One of the evacuated tenants told police that 20 minutes before he called 911 he heard loud banging, and things breaking. Shortly afterward, smoke became visible from the downstairs apartment. Other tenants corroborated the witness’s story.
There were at least seven people inside the structure when the fire was started and 11 firefighters were actively working the scene.
At about 5:30 that morning, Moore was spotted near Mr. Jiff’s at Maple and Cherokee. A police officer located Moore in the parking lot and arrested him for public intoxication.
Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer
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